THE HINDU EDITORIAL – September 4, 2018 is one of the must read section for the competitive exams like IBPS RRB PO, IBPS RRB Office Assistant 2018, RBI Grade “B” 2018 & NIACL Assistant 2018. These topics are widely expected to be asked in the reading comprehension , Cloze Test or Error Detection topics in the forthcoming exams. So gear up your Exam preparation and learn new words daily.

A) Medal meter: on India at Asian Games 2018

With 69 medals, India’s performance at the Asian Games has many lessons going forward

India’s best-ever Asian Games medal haul at Jakarta has brought much cheer. The Indian contingent raked in 69 medals, including 15 gold. It may have lagged at eighth place on the medals table, way behind China with its 289 medals — but compared to recent Asiads, India registered significant progress in many events, with heroic performances among both women and men. These will go a long way in inspiring others, and also hopefully making the sports administration more responsive to the needs of athletes. Track and field was a happy hunting ground, with India picking up 19 medals, including seven of its total 15 golds. Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, whose gold-winning 88.06m makes him among the world’s best, particularly shone. As did Swapna Barman, who kept ahead of the pack to win gold in heptathlon even as she coped with a painful tooth infection and shoes far from ideal for her six-toed feet. Boxer Amit Panghal shocked Uzbekistan’s Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov with a split verdict in the men’s 49 kg category. Shooting and wrestling seized two gold medals each while table tennis broke its Asian Games drought with two bronze medals. P.V. Sindhu claimed the country’s maiden Asiad silver in badminton and Saina Nehwal got a bronze. There were disappointments too, especially in kabaddi, in which for the first time both the men’s and women’s teams finished without a gold medal. In men’s hockey, India, the defending champion and favourite, slumped with a bronze, missing automatic qualification for the Olympics in Tokyo.

While India improved on its previous best of 65 at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, it remains miles behind Asian powerhouses like China and Japan, the top two in Jakarta. The fact that one woman swimmer from Japan, Rikako Ikee, who was adjudged as the Asiad’s Most Valuable Player, could win six golds gives a fair idea of where India stands. While the competition in track and field had audiences riveted, it is a sobering reality check that independent India has not won a single medal in athletics at the Olympics; China already has 32, including eight golds, and Japan has 25, with seven of them gold. Hope of this equation changing rests on Chopra, who could excel in global events in the years to come, and perhaps on under-20 world champion Hima Das, whose time of 50.79s got her the 400m silver. India should now build on its Asiad success to do better at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games than it did in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, when the contingent returned with just two medals. It also needs to ensure that the sport is clean.

B) The nature of dissent

Dissent is necessary not only for democracy — it is necessary for the survival of the human race

Disagreeing with each other is a fundamental human trait. There is not a single individual who does not disagree with something or the other all the time. Philosophers argue that a baby meaningfully attains its sense of the self — its recognition of ‘I’ and the concept of ‘mine’ — when it first begins to say ‘no’. At a primordial level, we become individuals only through this act of stating our disagreement. There is no family without dissent between parents and the children, or between the siblings. A family which learns to deal with dissent rather than authoritatively dismissing it is a more harmonious family.

A way of being

We dissent at home, with our friends and with our colleagues in the places we work. It is through these ways of dissenting that we establish a relationship with them. Our relations with our friends are based as much on how we learn to live with our disagreements as on other things. The relationship between spouses is filled with many moments of disagreement. If our friends and family consist only of those who agree with us all the time, then we will not have any friends and family. Learning to live with others, the first requisite for a social existence, is about learning how to live with them when they disagree with us.

Dissent is so ingrained in us that we don’t even need others to disagree. We constantly disagree with ourselves. We argue with our own selves all the time as if each one of us is an individual made up of many selves. When we think, we are often dissenting with our own selves. When we stifle dissent within our own minds, we stop thinking. Many of our meaningful acts also occur from this dissenting conversation of our many selves.

Social dissent

Dissent is thus a condition of existence and the real problem is not dissent but silent assent. When we agree collectively, we are silently assenting, agreeing with what is being said and done. This is really not the existential characteristic of a human being but only that of a ‘bonded mind’. However, some might say that assent is the way societies come together, and it is needed for a stable society. But this is plain wrong. Just as a baby attains its sense of self through dissent, so too does a society get its own identity by learning to dissent. In other words, we will have a stronger identity of what our society and nation are through forms of dissent.

Moreover, every process of forming the social needs dissent. A group made up of people who agree to everything all the time is not really a society but an oligarchy. It becomes a society only through disagreements and dissent. Dissent, paradoxically, is the glue which makes a decent society possible.

A mature society is one which has the capacity to manage dissent since members of a society will always disagree with each other on something or the other. Democratic societies are the best of the available models in managing dissent with the least harmful effect on the dissenter. This is the true work of democracy; elections and voting are the means to achieve this. The essence of democracy is to be found in the method it uses to deal with dissent, which is through discussion and debate, along with particular ethical norms.

A democratic society manages dissent by trying to make individual practices of dissent into social practices. Academics and research are two important activities where dissent is at the core. No society has survived without making changes to what was present earlier. New knowledge and new ways of understanding the world, for good or bad, has always been part of every society.

How is new knowledge, new understanding, created? Many new ideas arise by going against earlier established norms and truths. Science, in its broadest meaning, is not possible without dissent since it is by finding flaws with the views of others that new science is created. No two philosophers agree on one point, and no two social scientists are in perfect harmony with each other’s thoughts. Artists are constantly breaking boundaries set by their friends and peers. Buddha and Mahavira were dissenters first and philosophers next. The Ramayana and Mahabharata are filled with stories of dissent and responsible ways of dealing with it.

Thus, when academics dissent, it is part of their job expectation to do so! Dissent is not just about criticism, it is also about showing new perspectives. The scientific community does not imprison scientists for dissenting although we are increasingly finding today that social scientists and artists are being targeted in the name of dissent. This has grown to such an extent that when faculty members dissent about unlawful hiring practices, they face harassment and suspension.

It is not that dissent is necessary only for democracy — it is necessary for the survival of the human race. Any society which eradicates dissent has only succeeded in eradicating itself. We cannot afford to forget the examples of Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. A sustainable, harmonious society can only be formed from practices which deal with dissent respectfully and ethically.

thics of dissent

The importance of dissent is not just that it is good for democracy. There is also a fundamental ethical principle involved in dissent. Any society which muzzles dissent is acting unethically. Let me give two ethical principles associated with dissent. First, its relation to non-violence, a principle which is so integral to the unique Indian practices of dissent from ancient times to Gandhi and Ambedkar. Second, dissent is an ethical means of protecting those who are worse off than others. Dissent is not mere complaint which all of us, however privileged we are, indulge in. Social dissent is a necessary voice for all those who are oppressed and are marginalised for various reasons. This is the only thing they have in a world which has denied them the basic dignity of a social life.

The ethical principle is that the worse off in a society have greater right to dissent and protest even when the more privileged may not agree or sympathise with that dissent. This is the truly ethical principle that can sustain a mature society. Thus, when we hear the voices of dissent from the oppressed and the marginalised, it is ethically incumbent upon those who are better off than them to give them greater space and greater freedom to dissent. Any of us, particularly the more well-off population, who support any government which wants to use its power to stop dissent of those who are suffering from injustice of various kinds are being used as partners in this unethical action. We act immorally when we sit in the comfort of our homes and abuse those who fight for the rights of the poor and oppressed. When we condemn them in the name of the nation, we are performing an unethical act of further condemning those who are already condemned.


1) coped

Meaning : (of a person) deal effectively with something difficult.

Tamil Meaning : சமாளிக்க

Synonyms : endure , grapple

Antonyms : hold

Example : “his ability to cope with stress”

2) seized

Meaning : take hold of suddenly and forcibly.

Tamil Meaning : பறிமுதல்

Synonyms : captured

Antonyms : release

Example : “she jumped up and seized his arm”

3) verdict

Meaning : a decision on an issue of fact in a civil or criminal case or an inquest.

Tamil Meaning : தீர்ப்பு

Synonyms : answer , award

Antonyms : accusation

Example : “the jury returned a verdict of not guilty”

4) slumped

Meaning : sit, lean, or fall heavily and limply.

Tamil Meaning : சரிந்தது

Synonyms : collapse , hunch

Antonyms : ascend

Example : “she slumped against the cushions”

5) riveted

Meaning : join or fasten (plates of metal) with a rivet or rivets.

Tamil Meaning : துளைக்கப்பட்டதை

Synonyms : decided , resolved

Antonyms : flexible

Example : “the linings are bonded, not riveted, to the brake shoes for longer wear”

6) sobering

Meaning : make or become sober after drinking alcohol.

Synonyms : restrained , serious

Antonyms : agitated

Example : “that coffee sobered him up

7) trait.

Meaning : a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person.

Tamil Meaning : பண்பாகும்.

Synonyms : feature

Antonyms : normality

Example : “the traditionally British trait of self-denigration”

8) primordial

Meaning : existing at or from the beginning of time; primeval.

Tamil Meaning : ஆதியிலிருந்து

Synonyms : primeval

Antonyms : modern

Example : “the primordial oceans”

9) dissent

Meaning : the holding or expression of opinions at variance with those commonly or officially held.

Tamil Meaning : எதிர்ப்பை

Synonyms : opposition

Antonyms : agreement

Example : “there was no dissent from this view”

10) authoritatively

Meaning : in a way that is trusted as being accurate or true; with authority.

Tamil Meaning : அதிகாரப்பூர்வமாக

Synonyms : approvedly

Antonyms : casually

Example : “he could speak authoritatively on art, philosophy, literature, history, current affairs”

11) harmonious

Meaning : forming a pleasing or consistent whole.

Tamil Meaning : களிப்போடு

Synonyms : amicable , balanced

Antonyms : hostile

Example : “the decor is a harmonious blend of traditional and modern”

12) requisite

Meaning : made necessary by particular circumstances or regulations.

Tamil Meaning : தேவையான

Synonyms : precondition

Antonyms : nonessential

Example : “the application will not be processed until the requisite fee is paid”

13) ingrained

Meaning : (of a habit, belief, or attitude) firmly fixed or established; difficult to change.

Tamil Meaning : வேரூன்றியிருக்கும்

Synonyms : implanted , innate

Antonyms : extrinsic

Example : “his deeply ingrained Catholic convictions”

14) selves

Meaning :

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms :

Antonyms :

Example :

15) stifle

Meaning : make (someone) unable to breathe properly; suffocate.

Tamil Meaning : சமூகவியலார்கள்

Synonyms : muzzle repress

Antonyms : allow

Example : “those in the streets were stifled by the fumes”

16) assent.

Meaning : the expression of approval or agreement.

Tamil Meaning : ஒப்புதல்

Synonyms : concurrence

Antonyms : disagreement

Example : “a loud murmur of assent”

17) oligarchy

Meaning : a small group of people having control of a country or organization.

Tamil Meaning : தன்னலக் குழு

Synonyms : autocracy , cruelty

Antonyms : democracy

Example : “the ruling oligarchy of military men around the president”

18) paradoxically

Meaning : in a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory way.

Tamil Meaning : முரண்பாடாக

Synonyms : alert

Antonyms : considerate deferential

Example : “the strength of capitalism is, paradoxically, also its weakness”

19) ethical

Meaning : relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these.

Tamil Meaning : நெறிமுறைகள்

Synonyms : humane , honest

Antonyms : corrupt

Example : “ethical issues in nursing”

20) flaws

Meaning : a mark, blemish, or other imperfection which mars a substance or object.

Tamil Meaning : குறைபாடு

Synonyms : defect , failing

Antonyms : blessing

Example : “a flaw in the glass”

21) harmony

Meaning : the combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce a pleasing effect.

Tamil Meaning : நல்லிணக்கம்

Synonyms : consistency , cooperation

Antonyms : disagreement

Example : “the piece owes its air of tranquillity largely to the harmony”

22) peers.

Meaning : look with difficulty or concentration at someone or something.

Tamil Meaning : சக.

Synonyms : associate

Antonyms : inferior

Example : “Faye peered at her with suspicion”

23) criticism

Meaning : the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes.

Tamil Meaning : திறனாய்வு

Synonyms : assessment , comment

Antonyms : neglect

Example : “he received a lot of criticism”

24) perspectives

Meaning : the art of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height

Tamil Meaning : கண்ணோட்டங்கள்

Synonyms : attitude , mindset

Antonyms : hopeless

Example : “the theory and practice of perspective”

25) afford

Meaning : provide or supply (an opportunity or facility).

Tamil Meaning : வாங்க

Synonyms : manage , allow

Antonyms : refuse

Example : “the rooftop terrace affords beautiful views”

26) muzzles

Meaning : the projecting part of the face, including the nose and mouth, of an animal such as a dog or horse.

Tamil Meaning : சங்கிலியில்லாமல்

Synonyms : cover, envelope

Antonyms : liberate

Example : “she patted the horse’s velvety muzzle”

27) integral

Meaning : necessary to make a whole complete; essential or fundamental.

Tamil Meaning : ஒருங்கிணைந்த

Synonyms : elemental , essential

Antonyms : accessory

Example : “games are an integral part of the school’s curriculum”

28) privileged

Meaning : having special rights, advantages, or immunities.

Tamil Meaning : சலுகை

Synonyms : honored

Antonyms : poor

Example : “in the nineteenth century only a privileged few had the vote”

29) indulge

Meaning : allow oneself to enjoy the pleasure of.

Tamil Meaning : ஈடுபடுதல்

Synonyms : nourish , pamper

Antonyms : deprive

Example : “we indulged in a cream tea”

30) mere

Meaning : used to emphasize how small or insignificant someone or something is.

Tamil Meaning : வெறும்

Synonyms : pure , bare

Antonyms : decorated

Example : “questions that cannot be answered by mere mortals”

31) oppressed

Meaning : subject to harsh and authoritarian treatment.

Tamil Meaning : ஒடுக்கப்பட்ட

Synonyms : abused , destitute

Antonyms : alleviated

Example : “oppressed racial minorities”

32) incumbent

Meaning : necessary for (someone) as a duty or responsibility.

Tamil Meaning : பதவியில்

Synonyms : binding

Antonyms : unnecessary

Example : “the government realized that it was incumbent on them to act”

33) condemn

Meaning : express complete disapproval of; censure.

Tamil Meaning : கண்டனம்

Synonyms : censure , decry

Antonyms : approve

Example : “most leaders roundly condemned the attack”

34) marginal

Meaning : treat (a person, group, or concept) as insignificant or peripheral.

Synonyms : minor

Antonyms : central

Example : “by removing religion from the public space, we marginalize it”

35) immoral

Meaning : not conforming to accepted standards of morality.

Tamil Meaning : ஒழுக்கக்கேடான

Synonyms : corrupt

Antonyms : decent

Example : “unseemly and immoral behaviour”

36) denied

Meaning : state that one refuses to admit the truth or existence of.

Tamil Meaning : மறுத்தார்

Synonyms : oppose , contradict

Antonyms : accept

Example : “both firms deny any responsibility for the tragedy”

37) sympathise

Meaning : feel or express sympathy.

Tamil Meaning : பரிதாபப்பட

Synonyms : comprehend

Antonyms : scorn

Example : “it is easy to understand and sympathize with his predicament”

38) contingent

Meaning : subject to chance.

Tamil Meaning : எதிர்பாராத

Synonyms : unforeseen

Antonyms : designed

Example : “the contingent nature of the job”

39) defending

Meaning : resist an attack made on (someone or something); protect from harm or danger.

Tamil Meaning : பாதுகாக்க

Synonyms : fight , prevent

Antonyms : desert

Example : “we shall defend our island, whatever the cost”

40) maiden

Meaning : being or involving the first attempt or act of its kind.

Synonyms : inaugural

Antonyms : final

Example : “the Titanic’s maiden voyage”


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